As of March 27, the Guangdong provincial government has officially permitted couples in which only one parent is an only child to give birth to two children. Before the change, the policy was stricter, limiting a second child only to those couples in which both parents are only children. So far, a total of 14 provinces in China have approved the second child policy.
It is predicted that the new policy will bring add about 320,000 to Guangdong's population in the next 5 year. The years of 2015 and 2016 will see the birthrate peak at between 80,000 and 90,000 new Guangdong natives.
Government research indicates that about 70% of qualified couples are willing to have a second child. All pregnant women who meet these standards will be exempted from any penalty, provided they apply for the birth exception before June 30. However, all those who have given birth to their second child before March 27 still be subject to the fine.
China first implemented the one-child family planning policy in the late 1970s, aiming to curb population growth. The second child policy is to relieve the social pressures caused by a low birthrate as Chinese society steadily ages.
(By Jessie Huang, Ian Heuer)